Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Freeze Likely Thursday Morning

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Recap of Today

After falling rather quickly before midnight, temperatures across the viewing area “flattened out” during the pre-dawn hours in spite of dew points in the mid to upper 30°s.  As a result, most WAFB communities stayed in the 40°s through the night and into sunrise.  At the same time, a cold front moved through WAFB viewing area this morning and the cooler-and-less-humid air behind this morning’s front delivered clear skies all day.  However, even with the sunshine, highs today will only reach into the 50°s -- 10° or more cooler than Tuesday’s afternoon highs for most WAFB neighborhoods.

You may have seen that this morning’s front did produce a few showers in the viewing area, mainly to the north and east of Baton Rouge.  In fact, we received a couple of reports from Livingston Parish regarding small hail as the line moved through!  Hard to believe, we admit, but nature does some strange things at times.  (Yes, we’re trying to track down that report for more details!)

Tonight / Thursday

Clear skies, dew points in the low 20°s and generally calm conditions are the ideal set-up for a Thursday morning freeze -- plan on tomorrow’s lows around 30° for the Capital City.  We could see a brief morning freeze extending as far south as Donaldsonville and Thibodaux.  Expect a few clouds under otherwise fair skies for Thursday with afternoon highs ranging from the upper 50°s to low 60°s across the viewing area. 

Friday - Weekend

“Cooler-than-normal” will be the rule through the rest of the work week and the weekend too.  Our next cold front arrives early Friday and reinforces this morning’s front with another dose of Canadian air.  But like this morning’s front, Friday’s frontal passage is also expected to be largely rain-free.  So put the umbrella away for the time being: our next chance of rain doesn’t arrive until early next week.
We’re posting mainly sunny skies for Friday afternoon, with highs in the 50°s.  Then, once again, we’re set up for another freeze for Saturday morning -- our current guidance suggests that Saturday morning’s lows could be a degree or two lower than what we expect for tomorrow morning. 
Cold, yes, but let’s keep our next two morning freezes in perspective: neither will be anything like the Arctic Outbreak we saw last week.  For Baton Rouge, we expect freeze durations on the order of roughly 5 to 6 hours -- nothing likely to threaten pipes!
Highs again for Saturday max-out in the 50°s for most of us.  Sunday starts out cold again, but Baton Rouge area lows should only drop into the upper 30°s.  Sunday afternoon should be a nice one: mainly-fair skies and highs rebounding into the low to mid 60°s.

Extended Outlook

Our latest extended guidance shows another front arriving in the region late Monday or early Tuesday, and that should mean scattered rains for the area.  For now, we’ll carry highs in the 60°s for both Monday and Tuesday, with the Monday/Tuesday front producing another cool-down by Wednesday.

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